Saturday, June 24, 2006
When things get really crazy at work or home or just in general, I tend to resort to escapism to deal with the stress. Not to say I don't also turn to the somewhat less healthful chocolate and/or red wine binge, but when I really need to forget everything, nothing will do me better than good fiction.
Lately I have really been leaning on this book, The Whole World Over, by Julia Glass. Julia's last book, Three Junes, won the National Book Award, and though the new book is not a sequel, it does carry forward the story of Fenno, one of the characters from Three Junes. Any rate, I love a good story with lots of crazy twists and turns and emotionally complex characters, and that's exactly what this was. I laughed, I cried, I stopped thinking about work for hours on end. It was delightful.
This is a book I probably wouldn't have picked up for myself, except that it was selected by my book club. That's one of the great things about book clubs - being introduced to new writers and great stories you wouldn't have found otherwise. But best of all, one of our book club goddesses (a.k.a. Dr. D) is actually a friend of the author, so we found ourselves graced by her authorial presence at our monthly meeting last night! Lucky us. We were also joined by a lovely group of women from another book club, who call themselves the Jane Does (they all work at the county courthouse).
It's funny how people's literary experience varies. At most of our book club gatherings, we talk very little about the book and stray frequently into neighborhood gossip (though I have heard that the last few meetings, which I missed, have been much more bookish). But last night we had to focus and behave, since the author was actually there, waiting patiently to answer our questions. Any rate, there are people who you can tell took literature classes in college and ask about symbols and writing process and comparisons to other books, and there are people who read a hell of a lot and ask all kinds of good questions you would have never thought of, and there are a lot of people who really enjoy books but don't know how to talk about them, but want to convey their interest and sincere enjoyment, and ask questions like, "So you like cake? Because I just love cake. I loved all the cake in this book."
By the way, I'm not all that into cake. I prefer pie. But I did enjoy the book a great deal.
And even better than cake or pie, this morning there were many happy faces outside the kitchen window waiting to greet me:
this is a volunteer sunflower from the bird feeder.
a mother & daughter pair of purple coneflowers. we have squillions of them, all very large because of the wonderful rains we've been having the last month.
Hapy weekend to all of you - and if you're looking for a good book at the library or the bookstore this weekend, look for Julia Glass!